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If this Maple Ridge teacher was trying to be funny, no one else was laughing

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May 17, 2016 - 5:02 PM


MAPLE RIDGE - A British Columbia teacher has been officially reprimanded and agreed to undergo sensitivity training for making various remarks to students that would make Homer Simpson look sensitive.

Lee Sansen Vendiola is a teacher in Maple Ridge under School District 42 and has been teaching since 1996 but numerous complaints last year elevated a series of disciplinary measures to a consent resolution agreement with the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation.

Vendiola has already served a one-day suspension and admitted he made the various statements and volunteered to take a 'Reinforcing Respectful Professional Boundaries' course with the Justice Institute of B.C.

In 2015, he was heard making numerous odd statements to his Grade 10 class.

He “pointed out who the smarter students in the class were”… and would sometimes say words to the effect “let’s ask (a certain student) first, because they are smart.”

He also read portions of students’ essays to the class and commented on both positive and negative aspects of the work and he made jokes about minority members in the class.

“He asked a Korean student in the class, on more than one occassion, ‘You’re my Japanese student, aren’t you?” although he had been repeatedly told that the student was Korean,” the resolution document says. “Other times he would say to the same student “you are Chinese, aren’t you?” this was offensive to the student.”

Vendiola also admits he told his class that Asians have a good work ethic and said “these are the ones you are going to be competing with in the global economy. There’s going to be a big difference later on.”

On another occasion, he referred to a high-achieving students as a “god." The student found the statement offensive because his family is very religious.

He also once asked a student — loud enough to be heard by other students — “Where is (an unidentified student)? Is she skipping again?”

Another time, while watching a science video, he told the class the presenter on the video “is not very smart, but she will go far in life because she’s pretty.”

Finally, during a discussion about the formation of new species, he told his students he once saw an internet link to a video of a woman having sex with a horse.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
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